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B M D73 EDI 

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Author 0/ " The Life of St. Thomas Becket," " The Relics oj 
St. Thomas of Canterbury, ^^ ^c. 

Canterbury : 


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Author of " The Life of St. Thomas Becket," " The Relics of 
St. Thomas of Canterbury " cfc. 


Canterbury j 




The Tombs of the A rchbishops in 
Ca)iterbury Cathedral. 

The widespread interest excited by the problem of the rightful 
ownership of the tomb that was examined in Canterbury 
Cathedral on March 8 and lo, 1890, justifies an attempt to 
put on record the conclusions that have been reached respecting 
that tomb, and an opportunity is thus afforded of a few words 
respecting some of the other tombs of Archbishops which 
present matter for discussion. The tomb lately opened has 
held quite an exceptional position amongst the tombs in the 
Cathedral. It is unlike the others in appearance, and looks 
more like a shrine than an ordinary tomb. A conjecture 
often repeated suggested that as, at the destruction by fire 
of this part of the Cathedral in 1174, the monks, according 
to Gervase, cast down from various beams the shrines of the 
saints, this tomb might possibly have been made to receive 
the fragments of the shrines, together with what remained 
of their contents. This rumour has now been set at rest 
for ever, as the monument was found on examination to cover 
a stone coffin, and to contain nothing else. 


Within that stone coffin lay the desiccated body of an 
Archbishop in full pontificals. All that had been made of 
linen or of wool had perished. Under the silken vestments 
no trace remained of clothing, but there was a haircloth band 
round the waist. The alb had gone, but the front apparels of 
silk belonging to it were in their proper places. The pallium 
also had decayed, but two pins that fastened it were on the 
shoulders— a third was looked for in vain — and two pieces of lead 
with their silk coverings were there. Indeed, in one of the pieces 
of lead, protected by it and the silk, a small portion of the 
wool of the pallium has survived. The mitre on the head 
was of silk, and as the threads with which it had been sewn 

6 The Tombs of the Archbishops 

had decayed, it was easy to see how the oblong piece of silk 
was folded to form the mitre. The chasuble was ample, the 
orphreys forming an inverted A at the bottom, the arrangement 
resembling that of the orphreys of the chasuble of St. Thomas 
at Sens, except that the bars which are double there are single 
here, and it was bordered by a very beautiful narrow band 
of lace. The pattern of the silk of the dalmatic was different 
from that of the chasuble, the designs of both being very 
rich. These vestments are twelfth century work ; the stole 
older still, probably dating back to the time of Lanfranc. The 
buskins are of silk, embroidered in lozenges which are filled 
with beautiful crosses and other designs. The sandals are 
low boots, also of silk, adorned with little stones, and em- 
broidered very beautifully with quaint monsters and patterns. 
The ring contains a Gnostic gem, engraved with a serpent 
and the name of the god Chiuphis. The chalice in silver 
parcel gilt resembles a modern ciborium ; the paten has on it 
an Agnus Dei with an appropriate inscription, and on the 
outer rim is this elegiac couplet : 

Ara crucis, tumulique calyx, lapidisque patena, 
Sindonis officium Candida bissus habet. 

The lettering is of the time of Henry the Second. These lines, 
which are also found on a portable altar in the Church of 
St. Mary in Capitol, at Cologne,^ of the twelfth century, may 
be rendered thus : 

His Cross the altar, and His sepulchre 
The chalice, and the stone with which 'twas closed 

The paten, and this folded linen fair 

The winding-sheet in which His limbs reposed. 

A light pastoral staff of cedar wood with a knop containing 
three engraved gems (the fourth has been lost), and a very 
simple volute or head, rested on the body from the right foot 
to the left shoulder, one hand being beneath it and the other 
resting on it. It is probable that the maniple and the gloves 
were of linen, as no trace of them remains. 

The place occupied by this most interesting tomb is the 
south wall of the aisle of the Trinity Chapel, which chapel 

1 In our case, by inserting the que after tumuli, the first syllable of iyx has 
very properly been made short. The German inscription runs thus : 
Quicquid in altari punctatur spirituali, 
lUud in altari completur material!. 
Ara crucis, tumuli calyx, lapidisque patena, 
Sindonis officium Candida byssus habet. 

in Canterbury Cathedral. 7 

was built to receive the shrine of St. Thomas of Canterbury, 
and was finished in 11 84. It is now ascertained from a Hst 
of Archbishops, to which fuller reference will shortly be made, 
that this is the tomb of Archbishop Hubert Walter, who died 
in 1205. It is his body that has been lately seen. These are 
his vestments, his ring, his chalice and paten, and his crozicr, 
that have aroused so much interest, and teach us such valuable 
lessons in the history of art as to condone the rifling of his 
tomb. The Society of Antiquaries of London will engrave 
the whole collection in the Vetusta Monumenta. Another tomb 
in the Cathedral has hitherto gone by Hubert Walter's name, 
and it says much for the acumen and felicity of judgment 
of Canon Scott Robertson, that he should nine years ago have 
pointed out this tomb as Hubert Walter's. It then went by 
the name of Theobald's, who died in 1161. It will interest 
the reader to have the tradition respecting the tomb traced 
for him. The true solution had not occurred even to so careful 
and accurate an inquirer as Professor Willis. This is what 
he says : 

Unfortunately, out of fifty Archbishops and distinguished personages 
before the Reformation, the locality of whose tombs or shrines have 
been recorded, only about eighteen monuments are left, many of which 
are in a greater or less state of dilapidation. With one exception, 
however, they are all securely appropriated to their respective owners, 
and thus dated, which greatly increases their value and use for the 
history of art. Their positions are so minutely described by Archbishop 
Parker at a period when all the inscriptions remained, that there can 
be no mistake in this respect. 

Here we may say that a manuscript list of Archbishops, 
the original of which was taken from Canterbury by Archbishop 
Parker, and deposited by him in the Corpus Library at 
Cambridge, of which manuscript a copy in Henry Wharton's 
handwriting is accessible at Lambeth Palace, will no doubt 
for the future supersede Parker's own descriptions, for it is 
more ancient and trustworthy. In the case of Hubert Walter 
himself. Professor Willis, following Parker in his mistake, 
assigns for the place of Hubert Walter's tomb "the south 
wall of the choir aisle." The manuscript list that corrects 
this error for us tells us that Hubert Walter lies " near the 
shrine of St. Thomas," which is the position of the tomb 
under examination. That list was written by a monk of 
Canterbury between 1532 and 1538, and on the margin (not 

8 The Tombs of the Archbishops 

copied by Wharton) of the original entry respecting Hubert 
Walter, Josselin, Archbishop Parker's secretary, has written, 
"othenvise, under the window on the south side." This 
window is in the choir aisle, and this note of Josselin's shows 
us that Parker meant the position under the window in the 
choir aisle, and thus adopted, if he did not originate, the 
mistake that Hubert Walter was buried there. 

Professor Willis continues, with reference to the tomb lately 
opened, that " the exception just mentioned " by him, that is 
to say, the exception amongst all the tombs, which otherwise 
are " securely appropriated to their respective owners," 

is a tomb which now stands on the south side of the Trinity Chapel ; 
its sides are decorated with an arcade of trefoil arches, resting on 
shafts which have round abacuses and bases, and the style seems 
a little later than the completion of the Trinity Chapel. No record 
of a monument on this spot is preserved, and if, as is probable, it has 
been moved from its original site, all clue to its history is gone. It 
may have been constructed after the completion of the church, to 
receive the bones of some of the Archbishops who had been removed. 
It is usually attributed to Archbishop Theobald, but without reason, 
and is too late in style. (Willis, p. 128.) 

We now know that this tomb has not been removed from 
its original site, for its contents have rested undisturbed since 
first they were placed there in 1205. It was not erected to 
receive the bones of some of the Archbishops who were 
removed, and it is wonderful that Professor Willis, who assigns 
to them all their places in the church, should have thought 
it possible. And it is no longer true that no record of a 
monument in this spot is preserved, for the Corpus MS. 
indicates it unmistakeably as Hubert Walter's. One important 
result therefore of the recent investigation is the correction 
of this passage in the invaluable book of Professor Willis on 
Canterbury Cathedral. 


The Professor states with great positiveness, and at the 
same time, no doubt, with perfect truth, that this tomb is not 
Archbishop Theobald's. Yet, if it were not for positive evidence 
assigning it to Archbishop Walter, it might have been possible 
to have made out something of a case for Theobald, once 
Abbot of Bee, the Archbishop who crowned Henry the Second, 
and who, dying in 1161, was succeeded by St. Thomas of 

in Canterbury Cathedral. 9 

Canterbury. The story of his removal from his original resting- 
place, nineteen years after his burial, is sufficiently interesting 
to be told in full. 

Gervase says that in the old Trinity Chapel Lanfranc lay 
on the south side, Theobald on the north. And when that 
Trinity Chapel, the work of St. Anselm and his Priors Ernulf 
and Conrad, had been destroyed by fire in 1174, the bodies of 
Lanfranc and Theobald who were buried in it, and of St. Odo 
and St. Wilfrid who were enshrined in it, rested there amongst 
the ruins for six years. Gervase himself was an eye-witness 
of what was done with them in 11 80, and his account of the 
opening of the tomb of Theobald is startlingly like what was 
seen the other day. I go back a little, to make my extract 
from Gervase complete, and I avail myself of Professor Willis's 
translation, retaining, however, the right to alter a word when 

The Chapel of the Holy Trinity above mentioned was then levelled 
to the ground ; this had hitherto remained untouched out of reverence 
to St. Thomas, who was buried in the crypt. But the saints who 
reposed in the upper part of the chapel were translated elsewhere, and 
lest the memory of what was then done should be lost, I will record 
somcAvhat thereof. On the 8th of the Ides of July the altar of the 
Holy Trinity was broken up, and from its materials the altar of St. John 
the Apostle was made ; I mention this lest the history of the holy stone 
should be lost upon which St. Thomas celebrated his first Mass and 
many times offered the Holy Sacrifice. The stone structure which was 
behind this altar was taken to pieces. Here, as before said, St. Odo 
and St. Wilfrid reposed for a long period. These saints were raised in 
their leaden coffins and carried into the choir. St. Odo in his coffin 
was placed under the shrine of St. Dunstan, and St. Wilfrid under the 
shrine of St. Elphege. 

Archbishop Lanfranc was found enclosed in a very heavy sheet of 
lead, in which from the day of his first burial up to that day he had 
rested his limbs, untouched, mitred, pinned,^ for sixty-nine years and 
some months. He was carried into the vestry and replaced in the lead, 
until the community should decide what should be done with so great 
a father. When they opened the tomb of Archbishop Theobald, which 
was built of marble slabs, and came to his coffin, the monks who were 
present, expecting to find his body reduced to dust, brought wine and 
water to wash his bones. But when the lid of the coffin was raised, he 
was found entire and rigid, the bones and nerves, the skin and flesh 
cohering, but attenuated. The bystanders marvelled at this sight, and 

^ Spinulatus^ with the pins of his pallium. 

io The Tombs of the Archbishops 

touching him with their hands placed him on a bier, and so carried him 
to Lanfranc in the vestry, that the Convent might resolve what would 
be the most respectful manner of disposing of both. But the rumour 
spread among the people, and already for this unwonted incorruption 
many called him St. Theobald, He was shown to several who desired 
to see him, and by them the tale was spread among the rest. He was 
thus raised from his grave in the nineteenth year from his death, his 
body being incorrupt and his silk vestments entire. By the decision of 
the Convent he was buried in a leaden chest ^ before St. Mary's altar in 
the nave of the Church, and this was what he had desired when living. 
The marble tomb was put together over him as before. But Lanfranc 
having remained, as aforesaid, untouched for sixty-nine years, his very 
bones were consumed with rottenness, and nearly all reduced to dust. 
The length of time, the damp vestments, the natural frigidity of the 
lead, and, above all, the frailty of the human structure, had conspired 
to produce this corruption. But the larger bones, with the remaining 
dust, were collected in a leaden coffer, and deposited at the altar of 
St. Martin. (Willis, p. 57.) 

To the testimony of Gervase may be added that of Polistorie^ 
a MS. Chronicle in French of the first quarter of the fourteenth 
century. This writer's account seems to be an echo of that of 
Gervase, but he describes the place at the Lady Altar where 
Theobald was buried with some distinctness. 

Lan de grace mclx. ... En eel tems enmaladist le erseuesk de 
Cauterbire Thebaud primat de Engleterre & legat de la Curt de Rome : 
mes lan de grace mil clxi. de cele maladie languisaunt le an de sun 
erseuesche xxij. la xiiij. Kl. de May a Caunterbire morust, et ilukes en 
le eglise Ihu Cst fust enterre de coste lauter nostre dame p[ar] deuaunt 
honurablement. Le cors de ly apres le xix an de sa sepulture entier 
& red [raide] fust troue des os, nerfs, de pel & char, dunt poy [peu] hy 
avoyt, mes tuts entieres se mustrerent les iointures.^ 

The marginal note is "De corpore Theobaldi Archiepi. integro 
inuento post xix annos." 

The question must now be discussed, whether the body of 
Theobald remained there at the altar of the Blessed Virgin in 
the nave, or whether there is any probability that it was trans- 
ferred to the south aisle of the Trinity Chapel. I take the 
greatest difficulty against its transfer first. 

In the fifteenth volume of the ArcJiceologia, p. 291, there is a 
paper which was read before the Society of Antiquaries of 

1 Willis notes that in this case Gervase uses the word area, while in all the other 
instances in this extract the word employed by him for a coffin is capsa, 
' Harl. 636, fol. 118^'. 

in Canterbury Cathedral. it 

London on May 31 and June 7, 1804. The paper was drawn 
up by Mr. Henry Boys, from the rough notes left by his father, 
Sir John Boys, and it is acccompanied by an excellent print 
of our tomb and of the leaden plaque that was buried with 
Archbishop Theobald. This interesting plaque of lead seems 
to have been sent to the Society of Antiquaries as a gift by 
Mr. Boys, for it would be " more usefully preserved in their 
collection than in the cabinet of any private person." Unfor- 
tunately it is not known to exist. The drawing of it, from 
which the engraving in the ArcJiceologia has been taken, is now 
in one of the portfolios of the Society of Antiquaries, and 
evidently represents the plaque more accurately than the 
engraving. That it is our Archbishop Theobald's plaque there 
cannot be a doubt. Mr. Boys says : 

On the 20th of February, 1787, the workmen began to take up the 
old pavement in the body of Canterbury Cathedral, and in levelling the 
ground for the new pavement at the east end of the north aisle, a leaden 
coffin was found a httle below the surface, containing the remains of a 
body that had been wrapped in a robe of velvet or rich silk fringed 
with gold ; these remains were much decayed. In the coffin was like- 
wise enclosed an inscription on a plate of lead, in capital letters, 
engraved in double strokes with a sharp-pointed instrument. The lead 
is much broken and affected by the aerial acid, and the letters are 
particularly so, the calx filling all the strokes, and rising above the 
surface of the sounder metal ; from whence it appears that the un- 
written surface was covered with paint or varnish, through which the 
strokes were cut into the substance of the lead, and thereby left exposed 
to the air. The letters are exceedingly well formed for that period ; 
some of the abbreviations are curiously complex. I read the inscription 
thus : [Hie requiescii\ venerabilis memo\i-icc\ Teob\_aldus\ Cantuarice 
archiepiscopus Britannice primas d Apostolicce \Scdis legatus]. Ecclesia 
Christi Diepehain adqui\_sivit proprio] argento et pluribus or[navit 
operibus. Se\pultus [v]iiii. YA.\AIaii anno Domini MCLXI\ 

If, as Mr. Boys says, this inscription was found "in the coffin" 
in which were the remains of a body in silk vestments, the 
probability is very strong that that body was Archbishop 
Theobald's. It is, however, curious that we can get further 
back than the date of Mr. Boys' paper, and in doing so, instead 
of assertions as positive as his, we meet only with surmises, 
with a great diversity in the statement of facts. Ilasted's book 
on Canterbury is dated December, 1800, and this is his account 
of the finding of the body in the old Lady Chapel. 

12 The Tombs of the Archbishops 

On the removal of the earth for making the new pavement of the 
nave, the stone coffin under this monument [that of Sir John Boys, who 
died in 1612] was found with the outward side of it already broken to 
pieces ; in it were three skulls, lying close together at one end, and a 
number of bones in a heap promiscuously in the middle of it. Under 
the window, eastward from this monument, there was found lying on 
the foundation, which about three feet under the surface projected hke 
a shelf, a skeleton, the body of which had been to all appearance 
richly habited ; some of the materials of the cloathing remained in small 
pieces or tatters, seemingly a stuff of gold tissue, and a piece of a 
leaden plate, on which could be read ARCHIEP and the word 
PRIMAS, seemingly very antient; the remaining part of the lead had 
crumbled away. These, perhaps, were the remains of Archbishop 
Theobald, who was buried somewhere hereabouts in the year 1184 

It is remarkable that Hasted should have seen one 
part of the plaque, but not the other fragment which contains 
Theobald's name. To our purpose it is important to observe 
that he makes no mention of any cofifin whatever, within which 
the plaque might be found. On the contrary, he expressly 
says that the skeleton was " found lying on the foundation " of 
the aisle wall, " which about three feet under the surface pro- 
jected like a shelf." Hasted tells us that "on searching the 
graves. and moving the remains of those anciently buried in 
this nave, for new making of the ground to lay the present new 
pavement on, it was then found that this was not the first time 
these depositories of the dead had been disturbed, for every 
cofifin had been opened and ransacked."^ Of the particular 
place with which we are now concerned,, this receives sad proof 
from the statement he has just made to us of the stone coffin 
that had been so violently used that its side was broken to 
pieces, in which three skulls were at one end, and a heap of bones 
in the middle. It seems clear that no leaden coffin was found in 
1787. That \he plaque there found is Theobald's is indubitable ; 
that it should have been found near the place where Theobald's 
body unquestionably lay for awhile is most natural ; that the 
plaque should be bought from the workmen by Sir John Boys 
might well be expected, as this was the spot where his kins- 
man Sir John Boys was buried ; but that the plaque was found 
in a bishop's coffin has not been established, much less that 
that coffin was undisturbed. In making Dr. Anian's grave in 

^ History of Canterbury ^ vol. i. p. 391, note R. ' Ibici. vol. i. p. 384. 

in Canterbury Cathedral. 13 

January, 1632, close to the tomb of Sir John Boys, the plaque of 
Archbishop Richard, who succeeded St. Thomas, was found, as 
Somner tells us,^ together with his cope, crozier, and chalice. 
This Somner says was " on the north side of the body \i.e. the 
nave], towards the upper end," and, therefore, very close to the 
place spoken of by Hasted where the skeleton was found on 
the foundation of the aisle wall. Theobald had a marble tomb 
re-erected over him at the Lady Altar, as we learn from Gervase; 
he was buried " a coste lauter nostre Dame par devaunt," 
according to Polistorie, and it would seem probable that 
Theobald's marble tomb will have been on the south, if Richard 
in 1 183 was buried on the north side. Theobald's //^^//^ would 
be thrown about and displaced as the earth was several times 
disturbed. And we may assume that Theobald rested there till 
the spoliators came and ruthlessly mingled the bones of the 
ancient rulers of the Cathedral and removed them, we know not 
whither. Not that a transfer would have been impossible even 
if unrecorded. We know that SS. Odo and Wilfrid were placed 
in their leaden coffins beneath the shrines of SS. Dunstan and 
Elphege on either side of the high altar. Willis tells us that 
this was " as a temporary resting-place only," and his reason 
for so saying is that in a later list of relics he finds that they 
were in the Corona in the fourteenth century. Yet Gervase 
leaves them at the high altar, and if no such subsequent list had 
been forthcoming, the historians of the church^ would have all 
declared that there they still were, just as they insist that 
Theobald, or what is left of him, is, if not carried out of the 
church by the spoilers, still in the old chapel of the Blessed 
Virgin in the nave aisle. 

We are not saying that it is not so, for documentary 
evidence shows that as a matter of fact Theobald was not 
transferred, and the tradition is erroneous which saj-s that our 
tomb is his burial-place. When /^c//.y/t>/7t' was written in 13 13, 
we should not have been told that he was buried by the Lady 
altar, if by that time he had been removed ; and the excellent 
list of 1532 would not have said that "he is buried in the nave 
of the church." In 13 13, the Lady altar was in the nave aisle; 

1 Willis, p. 37, note J. ; Somner, p. 92, Dart (p. 129) wrongly says it was 
Dr. ^Vucher's, who died in I "joo, 

2 Dart (p. 109. ), forgetting Prior Eastry's list which he prints in his Appendix, 
says that St. Odo's bones still continue under the feretory of St. Dunstan, without 
any monument. 

14 The To7nbs of the Archbishops 

it disappeared when Archbishop Sudbury pulled down Lanfranc's 
ruinous nave in 1378; and when the list of 1532 was written, 
Prior Goldston had long since finished the new Lady Chapel on 
the east side of the Martyrdom. The two writers, then, by their 
different phrases are indicating the same place in the church. 

But though Theobald remained there till the barbarians of 
the eighteenth century destroyed all trace of his tomb, his body 
no doubt having lost after its reburial in lead the wonderful 
state of preservation that so surprised the beholders in Gervase's 
time, yet the tradition, that the tomb lately opened was really 
his, has lasted a long time, withstanding the earnest assaults of 
historians like Somner and Battely. The very books that deny 
the truth of the tradition, in some sort testify to it by printing 
the words " Archbishop Theobald's tomb " on their plates of the 
tomb in the Trinity Chapel aisle, and in their plans of the 
Cathedral. Sir John Boys associates the name of Theobald so 
closely with the tomb, though he writes to prove that his body 
has been found elsewhere, that he invents the absurd hypothesis 
of " a superb monument erected to the memory of Theobald at 
a period distant from his death, and in a situation distant from 
his remains." It is still more curious that a "table" representing 
Theobald and his acts at one time hung over the tomb. If it 
was, as Battely says, " lately made," it was one of a series of 
placards engrossed on parchment, which are dated 1665. This 
was the time when the Cathedral was reopened after the ill- 
treatment it underwent in Cromwell's time, and the table gives 
us the tradition existing at the Restoration. 


The mention of this " table," or, as we should call it, " tablet," 
of Theobald and his acts may justify a few words respecting the 
other " tables " that we know to have existed on the tombs in 
the church. It would appear that almost all the " tables " had 
been misplaced. Weever asserts that he found that Lanfranc 
was buried in the church " by a table inscribed, which hangs 
upon his tomb." " Erroneously," is Somner's comment, " for 
there is neither tomb nor table of his there." Theobald's we 
have seen was displaced, for it was on the tomb we now know 
to be Hubert Walter's. There was a " table " for Odo, and it 
had found its way to Archbishop Sudbury's tomb. " There 
indeed," says Somner, " shall you find a tabic hanging, epito- 
mizing the story of his [Odo's] life and acts — not without a 

171 Canterbury Cathedral. 


great mistake." Archbishop Mepham's " tomb is that whereon 

by error Archbishop Sudbury's table hangs." And when he 

comes to Sudbury, Somncr repeats : " His tomb is that (as in 

>■ ~ ■) "tables," 

) says of 
lay easily 
) pillars on 
fair tomb 
,vin, in his 
lat he saw 
he thought 
ne one, he 
tion. The 
truction of 
pie of one 
Abbey at 
.rch monks 

;een in the 
e name of 
;11, done at 
one of an 
IS the later 
iting. The 
d they are 
," are evi- 

,ay perhaps 

al tradition 

. lb, we may 

mA i riking than 

^^^"istify us in 

^^Jgi upon our 

-^■te ourselves 

.\ } still more 

ancient Archbishop, who certainly rested for a time in the 
Corona, not far from our tomb, and who very probably was 
placed later on beside, or near to, the tomb we now call Hubert 
Walter's. The Archbishop in question is the Saxon St-.-Odo, 

1 Somner, Antiquities of Canterhtry, London, 1640, pp. 236, 241, 262—265. 

C^ t « AAAA^tf WN^ 


The Tombs of the Archbishops 

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CC y ii. CD 
T 5 9 i^' 

it disappeared when Archbishop Sudbury pulled down Lanfranc's 
ruinous nave in 1378; and when the list of 1532 was written, 
Prior Goldston had long since finished the new Lady Chapel on 
the east sid - - - 
different pi 
But the 
the eightee 
no doubt 
state of pre 

time, yet tl ^ ■ O g :3 " 

his, has laf CD ? '^ ** 

historians 1 -5 '^ 5 

the truth o 
the words ' 
tomb in tl 
closely witi 
has been fc 
of " a supe 
a period di 
his remains 
Theobald e 
was, as Ba 
placards ei 
was the tii 
us the trad 

The me 
of Theobal 
other " tabl 
the church, 
been mispl; 
was buried 
upon his t 

there is ne „. ...^ .„^.^. ^..^^^^.^^ „v, 

have seen was displaced, for it was on the tomb we now know 
to be Hubert Walter's. There was a " table " for Odo, and it 
had found its way to Archbishop Sudbury's tomb. " There 
indeed," says Somner, " shall you find a table hanging, epito- 
mizing the story of his [Odo's] life and acts — not without a 

in Canterbury Cathedral. 15 

great mistake." Archbishop Mepham's " tomb is that whereon 
by error Archbishop Sudbury's table hangs." And when he 
comes to Sudbur}', Somner repeats : " His tomb is that (as in 
Odo I told you) whereon Odo's table hangs." Two " tables," 
at all events, were in their proper places, for he says of 
Stratford : " By the table hanging whereon you may easily 
find it," and of Wittlesey, that he lies " between two pillars on 
the south side of the body of the Church, under a fair tomb 
inlaid with brass, as his table will direct." ^ Godwin, in his 
Latin edition (1616), complains that the "tables" that he saw 
at the tomb of Walter Reynolds, and at that which he thought 
was Hubert Walter's, had been taken away by some one, he 
knew not whom. Of these Somner makes no mention. The 
custom of putting " tables " on tombs for the instruction of 
strangers was an ancient one. There is an example of one 
in the year 1406 at St. Augustine's tomb in his Abbey at 
Canterbury, which gave offence to the Christ Church monks 
by stating the priority of foundation of that Abbey. 

The " table " for Wittlesey's tomb is still to be seen in the 
Cathedral library, written in 1665 by a man of the name of 
R. Hoare. Those of Bradwardin, Islip, and Arundell, done at 
the same time, are also preserved. There remains one of an 
earlier series, that of Islip, word for word the same as the later 
one, but much more worn and in an earlier handwriting. The 
matter in these " tables " is taken from Parker, and they are 
written in Latin. These post-Reformation "tables" are evi- 
dently those that Godwin and Somner allude to. 


The interesting character of these " tables " may perhaps 
justify this digression ; but now to return to the local tradition 
respecting Theobald's claim to Hubert Walter's tomb, we may 
proceed to give another piece of evidence more striking than 
any that have gone before. Its production will justify us in 
turning our attention from Theobald, whose claim upon our 
tomb must be abandoned, and will cause us to devote ourselves 
for awhile to the examination of the case of a still more 
ancient Archbishop, who certainly rested for a time in the 
Corona, not far from our tomb, and who very probably was 
placed later on beside, or near to, the tomb we now call Hubert 
Walter's. The Archbishop in question is the Saxon St. Odo, 
^ Somner, Atitiqiiities of Canierl>2iry, London, 1640, pp. 236, 241, 262 — 265. 

1 6 The Tombs of the Archbishops 

the immediate predecessor of St. Dunstan, whose habit it was 
to call him " Odo the Good." From Eadmer we learn that 
Odo, the twenty-second Archbishop of Canterbury, brought 
the relics of St. Wilfrid from Ripon in the year 957, and placed 
them in the altar, "of rough stones and mortar" against the 
wall of the eastern apse of the Saxon Cathedral. St. Odo's own 
tomb was on the south side of the high altar of that Cathedral, 
and it is not without importance to notice that it was described 
as " in the form of a pyramis." 

This church was found by Lanfranc in ruins, and he rebuilt 
the nave, and St. Anselm, or rather his Priors Ernulf and 
Conrad, the choir. From Gervase we learn that, behind 
St. Anselm's choir, in the Chapel of the Blessed Trinity where 
St. Thomas used to say Mass, beside the altar and quite against 
the east wall, on the right, that is the south side, was St. Odo, 
on the left, or north side, was St. Wilfrid of York ; to the 
south, close to the wall, the venerable Archbishop Lanfranc, 
and to the north Theobald.^ For "when the high altar of 
the old church was taken down, the relics of the Blessed 
Wilfrid were found and placed in a coffer, and after some 
years a sepulchre was prepared for them on the north side 
of an altar, in which they were reverently inclosed on [St. 
Wilfrid's day] the 12th of October." And a story is told 
by Gervase of a bright light seen in the church while angels 
performed the service, who went to the shrine of St. Wilfrid 
for a blessing before the lections.^ 

When the choir had been burnt in 1174, the same contem- 
porary authority tells us that on July 8, 11 80, when William the 
Englishman was planning the new Trinity Chapel, St. Odo and 
St. Wilfrid were raised in their leaden coffins and carried into 
the choir, St. Odo, in his coffin, was placed under the shrine of 
St. Dunstan, which was on the south side of the new high altar, 
and St. Wilfrid under the shrine of St. Elphege, on the north side 
of the high altar. There Gervase leaves them, but we know 
from a list of relics made in the time of Prior Eastry,^ in 1321, 
that St. Odo was then in a shrine in the Corona on the south 
side, and St. Wilfrid in a shrine also in the Corona on the 
north side. Corpus S. Odonis in fcretro ad Coronam versus 
austruvi. Corpus S. Wilfridi iu feretro ad Coronam versus 

1 Willis, p. 46. ^ 3iJ, p. 16. ^ Ibid. p. 56, note Q; p. 113, note E. 

* Galba, E. iv, f, 122 ; Dart, Append, xiii. 

in Canterbury Cathedral. 17 

We now come to a new witness, Richard Scarlett/' a lover of 
heraldry, who visited the Cathedral in 1599. In his first visit to 
the east end of the church, besides the quarterings on the tombs 
of Cardinal Pole and Dean Wootton, two things struck him : the 
one " a old monument of marble wherein was buryed Theo- 
baldus, Archbishop of Canterburye, dyed a boute 900 yeares 
a goo : " the other, " Odo, Archbishop and died An^ 958, and 
lyeth in a fayre monument of marble." This last entry was 
originally " 700 yeare a goo," which put St. Odo two centuries 
after Theobald, whose antiquity the writer of the note has just 
doubled. The information our visitor got from the "tables " on 
the spot was not entirely accurate, and he had not knowledge 
enough of his own to rectify it. However, the year 958, which 
he has subsequently entered as the year of St. Odo's death, is 
near enough, but Theobald's date he has not corrected, in this 
note at least. 

On his next visit he has taken the tombs of all the Arch- 
bishops he could find, and he has arranged them in chrono- 
logical order. IsHp's and Warham's dates he has not noted, 
and he enters them out of order. He has made some other 
curious mistakes. He begins with Lanfranc, whom he places 
" at the feet of St. Anselm." This is a reminiscence of the fact 
that St. Anselm was originally buried at the head of Lanfranc 
in his own Trinity Chapel, but he was thence translated to the 
Chapel of SS. Peter and Paul, which thereupon took his name : 
and Lanfranc, so far from being at the feet of St. Anselm, was 
removed in 11 80 to the altar of St. Martin, on the north side of 
the church. 

Our visitor makes next the curious error of the substitution 
of an e for the last stroke of the in in St. Anselm's name, for 
which we can only account by believing him to have misread 
the " table " that gave an account of St. Anselm. He calls him 
" St. Anselyne," and he does not know for certain which was 
his chapel, saying, " I take it to bee on the south syde of the 
high altar," in which he guesses rightl}-. 

Another blunder shows that he knows nothing of archi- 
tecture, for of Archbishop Arundell he tells us that " he built 
Arundell Steple, and gave the Bells, and dyed in Januar}-, 
1 41 3." It does not seem strange to him that a man who 
died in 141 3 should have built Lanfranc's Norman north-west 
tower. It is to be said for him that Parker and Godwin make 

' Had. 1366, fol. 13, 

1 8 The Tombs of the Archbishops 

the same mistake. Our herald of 1599 was of the same opinion 
as Gostling and Hasted, who ought to have known better, and 
assigned what he calls Theobald's tomb to Saxon times. For he 
was struck by its antiquity, which he thought might be 900 
years, and of Odo's, which he apparently attributes to Odo's 
own time, in the middle of the tenth century. 

But we were engaged with his second visit to the church, 
and in his notes of it his first entry is, " Odo lyeth on the south 
syde of the high altar, in a tombe built with marble stone 
after the forme of a piramis.^ He dyed An^ 958. Against 
bischopp Courteneys tombc." And to this he attaches a pen 
and ink sketch of St. Odo's tomb or shrine, which is so inter- 
esting that a photograph has been taken of it in its actual size, 
as well as enlarged. How exactly it corresponds with Hubert 
Walter's tomb is thus seen at a glance. 

Of Theobald, his entry on this second occasion is that he 
" lyeth in the upp^ parte of the church (neere the black prince) 
in a marble tomb, hee dyed An*^ 1160." He is this time 
nearer to the correct date, but it should be April 18, 1161. 
This error of a year is made by Parker likewise. 

This pen and ink sketch so precisely corresponds with our 
tomb, that not only the geometrical panelling is identical, but 
the two heads given match exactly with the heads on Theo- 
bald's — the first in a cap, the second in a mitre. The quatrefoils 
could not be drawn because of the small dimensions of his 
sketch, which is but an inch by three-quarters of an inch, 
for which reason, also, we have no trefoils in the arcading. 
Apparently we must take the intimation that this is Odo's 
tomb, as one more error on Scarlett's part. He must have 
written out his notes in chronological order after he left the 
church, and when he came to reproduce his little sketch 

^ Godwin, in his first edition of the Catalogue of the Bishops of England, by 
F. G., Sub-Deane of Exceter, London, 1601, p. 20, just after Scarlett's visit, has the 
same phrase. " He was buried on the south side of the high altar, in a tombe built 
somewhat after the forme of a Pyramis." He goes on wrongly to say, " I take it to 
be the tombe of ieate standing in the grate neer the steps that lead to S. Thomas 
Chappell." This is Mepham's tomb, which in the edition of 1615, p. 62, he calls a 
"tomb of touchstone " and in the Latin, ex Lydio lapide. Godwin does not say 
it is in "the form of a pyramis'' because it is like Mepham, but he goes to Mepham 
because he thinks it answers the description. St. Odo's first tomb in the Saxon church 
is so described. Requievit cohonba supra inemoria>n beati Odonis, qua ad aiistralcm 
partem altaris in viodum pyramidis exstrncta fuit. (Osbern's Life of St. Dunstan, 
Anglia Sacra, 1691, vol. ii. p. no.) Somner blames Godwin for not remembering 
that this is not the same church, but it is not clear that Godwin made this mistake, 

Xlicoh jiiL^ ^^ iUJ*^ ^ -^^f^^^j^^ ]"**^ f"^ ^f/^ 


in Canterbury Cathedral. 19 

of the shrine-Hke tomb, which certainly he has excellently 
done, he must have forgotten to which of the two, Odo or 
Theobald, it belonged. The word " piramis " will have been 
also applicable no doubt to the smaller shrine that contained 
St. Odo, or it even may have been another reminiscence of 
what he had read about the Saxon Cathedral, and where the 
word occurs in his notes, he was led to put the sketch of the 
larger "piramis" that he had seen at the same time. It is 
extremely improbable that he saw two tombs exactly alike in 
the same place, one "against bischopp Courteney's tombe," 
the other " neere the Black Prince." If there were two alike, 
they would have been stone shrines of St. Odo and St. Wilfrid 
from the Corona ; but as we have the sketch, and see the 
tomb corresponding with that sketch, and as we know from 
Mr. St. John Hope's careful measurements and examination 
that there is not room in the Corona for our tomb, we may 
be sure that it is not the shrine of St. Odo or St. Wilfrid, and 
further that it was certainly made for its present position. 

But though Richard Scarlett has given the sketch to Odo 
that he ought to have given to what he called Theobald, still it 
seems plain from his description that St. Odo was there at that 
time in the Trinity Chapel aisle. He saw two tombs, and not 
one, and he believed that both Archbishops' bodies were there. 
" Odo lyeth on the south syde of the high alter," " Theobald 
lyeth buried neere the black prince." " Against bischopp 
Courteneys tombe," means " opposite to " it, and the " pyramis " 
we see, Walter's we call it, Theobald's was his name for it, is 
exactly opposite to Archbishop Courtenay's alabaster monu- 
ment. The other shrine he saw, St. Odo's, must have been 
smaller than Walter's tomb, for it came from the Corona ; and 
the singular return of the step still remaining on the south side 
of the altar in the Corona, where St. Odo once was, seems to 
indicate a change there, while St. Wilfrid on the north side 
remained until he was unshrined by Henry the Eighth. 

This supposes St. Odo to have been in the Trinity aisle, and 
indeed either the words " against bischopp Courteneys tombe," or 
more probably the other description, " neere the Black Prince," 
belong to his " piramis," or smaller shrine. Now we have a sup- 
port for this surmise respecting St. Odo in the list of Archbishops 
in the Corpus Librar)-. The monk of Canterbury, who wrote 
while St. Thomas was still in his shrine, says that St. Odo "now 
lies at the Corona of St. Thomas in the Chapel of the Holy 

20 The Tombs of the Archbishops 

Trinity on the right." ^ In the original, as Mr. Lewis, the Librarian 
of Corpus, is good enough to say, there is no sign of correction, 
but the words run on in one and the same handwriting. Still 
the Corona is never styled " in the Trinity Chapel," and in this 
entry we seem to find, first a statement that St. Odo was in the 
Corona, which indeed we know from Prior Henry of Eastry, 
and then a change, when perhaps the original was inadvertently 
left, stating that St. Odo was in the Trinity Chapel on the right 
hand side — the very position that the visitor of 1599 would 
induce us to assign to his shrine. 

And to this second witness that Odo was really in the 
aisle of the Trinity Chapel we may add, as a third witness, 
the " table " spoken of by Somner, which evidently once was 
placed on Odo's shrine. We are thus brought to conclude 
that long after the time of Henry the Eighth, some one, taking 
a leaf out of King Henry's book, turned St. Odo and his shrine 
out of the church. He had been saved from this indignity 
when the other saints were unshrined by his unrecorded 
transfer from his old place by the Corona altar, but it was 
to meet the same fate later on, at some one else's hand. All 
that we have left to us is a small platform, west of Hubert 
Walter, and " near the Black Prince," the step in front of which 
is worn, as if by pilgrims' knees. Is not this the last site of 
St. Odo's shrine?- 


We may turn to the Corpus manuscript for some information 
respecting other Archbishops' tombs, but we must necessarily be 
brief In all, from St. Augustine to Warham inclusively, our monk 
gives us sixty-seven names. Of the thirty-two Saxon Archbishops 
(he omits Damian, Elsine, and Brithelm, given by Dugdale), 
eleven were buried in St. Augustine's Abbey, twelve appear in 
his list as they are in Gervase, six he tells us have been moved, 
and of Ethclnoth and the two who precede Lanfranc he is 
silent. As these transfers are not mentioned by Parker, and 
are unknown to Willis, it is well to say that Ffeogild and 
Ceolnoth were enshrined on a beam at the entrance of the 

' "S. Odo . . . modo jacet ad Coronam Sti. ThomK in capella Stse. Trinitatis ad 

- For this suggestion, which is quite new, and seems to me very interesting, I 
am indebted to Mr. St. John Hope, the Assistant Secretary- of the Society of 

in Canterbury Cathedral. 2t 

Corona ; Adhelm and Wlf helm also on a beam, the one before 
St. Gregory's altar, the other before St. John's. These three last, 
together with Ethclnoth, about whom we are without subsequent 
information, were before at St. Benedict's altar in Lanfranc's 
church, and were disturbed by the rebuilding of the Martyrdom, 
or by the building of the new Lady Chapel in the fifteenth 
century. Ffeogild was in Gervase's time at St. Michael's altar. 
He was thence moved to the high altar, for John Stone, a 
Canterbury monk in 1467, records in his lilcnioranda that " in 
1448, on the 24th of March, four Brothers of this church took 
from the high altar the shrine with the bones of St. Ffeogild, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and carried it behind the Body of 
our Lord to the shrine of St. Thomas, thence to the Corona of 
St. Thomas, and placed the shrine on a beam between the 
shrine of St. Thomas and the Corona of St. Thomas." Besides 
this, Siricius was removed from the crypt to St. John's^ altar, 
and St. Odo first to the Corona, and then, as we have seen, in 
all probability to the Trinity Chapel on the south side. 


There are thirty-five Archbishops from Lanfranc to Warham 
inclusively. The writer of our list omits Reginald Joceline, but 
inserts Thomas Langton, so that his total is the same as 
Dugdale's, who reverses this. Of these, in accordance with 
Gervase, he places Lanfranc at St. Martin's altar, St. Anselm in 
his chapel, Theobald and Richard in the nave, meaning in the 
old Lady Chapel, which had disappeared in his time. He 
agrees with Henry of Eastry in placing St. Thomas in the 
Trinity Chapel, St. Anselm in his own, St. Elphege and St. Dun- 
stan at the high altar, St. Odo in the Corona, and St. Elfric at 
St. John's, This last was buried at this altar in Gervase's time, 
and enshrined there in Eastry's. Of Ralph de Turbine and 
William Corboil our monk gives no indication : Gervase places 
them to the left and right of the entrance of St. Benedict's 
Chapel. John Ufford, who died before consecration, our list 
places in the Martyrdom. William Wittlesey was " in the nave 
before the image of Blessed Mary : " Thomas Arundell " in the 
nave in the chapel founded by him." 

* It is remarkable that the monk of 1532 always speaks of this altar as that of 
St. John Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. 

±2 The Tombs of the Archbishops 


Cardinal Stephen Langton, the writer of our list places 
"in St. Michael's Chapel tinder the altar." He is the first 
who makes mention of him in this place, unless Leland is 
before him. Parker and Godwin corroborate the statement ; 
and Scarlett in 1599 asserts very distinctly that Langton 
" lyeth in the Chappell of St. Michaell on the south syde of 
the churche neere the southe dore, w'^^ shulde seeme to bee 
the Chappell Redyfyed by John Earle of Somersett, for ther 
standyth yett the said monument whear the alter stood, 
halfe in the wall and halfe owte." The Chapel of St. Michael 
was rebuilt in 1439. Langton was buried in 1228, when 
St. Michael's Chapel, like St. Benedict's on the other side of 
the church, was but a little apse like those we now see in 
the eastern transepts. Cardinal Langton, we learn from 
Polistorie, which was written in 13 13, " kaunt honurablement 
en cele eglise fust mys en tere deuaunt lauter seint Michel." 
We must look on the transfer of Langton from before to 
beneath the altar of St. Michael's Chapel to have taken place 
at the rebuilding in 1439. This testimony of Polistorie, that 
Lanfranc was buried before the altar of St. Michael, relieves 
us from a considerable difficulty. For Willis has said : 

The stone coffin attributed to Stephen Langton, which is now built 
into the wall of the Chapel of St. Michael, seems to have been originally 
outside the wall in the churchyard ; and thus the new wall, when the 
chapel was rebuilt and enlarged in the fourteenth century, was made to 
stride over the coffin by means of an arch. (p. 129.) 

If this coffin were once outside in the churchyard, it was 
either not Stephen Langton's at all, or that great Cardinal 
Archbishop, alone of the Archbishops of Canterbury, was buried 
outside the church, and not only that, but his burial-place was 
not even in the cemetery of the monks, but in that of the laity. 
This some have attempted to account for by saying that he was 
excommunicated when he died, which is not true ; and if it 
were true, he would not have been buried in consecrated ground 
as this was. Nor can it be said that though not excommuni- 
cated, he was suspended from his archiepiscopal functions and 
was buried as a simple priest, for as a matter of fact, the 
cemetery to the east of St. Michael's Chapel was not that 
where a simple priest would have been buried, as it was the 

in Canterbiiry Cctthedral. 23 

cemetery of laymen. The statement of Polistorie is valuable 
as showing us that Cardinal Langton was, like the other Arch- 
bishops, buried within the church before an altar, so that there 
is no need to devise reasons why he should have been buried in 
the churchyard at all. A far more difficult thing to assign a 
reason for is, that he should have been finally buried under an 
altar. The stone of the altar rested on his coffin, and by this 
arrangement the cross on the coffin lid, which is now visible, was 
then hidden. The front of the coffin shows that when it was 
before the altar the coffin was in the ground, the lid alone 
showing on the surface of the ground. 


There is a very curious note in Scarlett's manuscript, which 
has its value as showing various local traditions that have arisen 
without any foundation. As we have had to reject one very 
strong local tradition, which attached the name of Hubert 
Walter to a later tomb, and another not less strong, which 
called by Theobald's name Hubert Walter's tomb, it may be 
instructive to see that there was once a tradition in Canterbury 
Cathedral that Stigand, the deposed Archbishop, who made 
way for Lanfranc, was buried there, and again that Peckham's 
tomb was taken to be Ufford's : 

In the Chapell of St. Thomas Beckett, a pen the monument of 

John Ufford, is layed a verye old monument of a bishopp, w"' his myter 

on his head, curyouslye cutt in hard oke and remayneth sound and 

good : but from whens he was brought thyther I knowe not. He lyeth 

loose a pon the top of the marble ston, and is by prescryption said to 

be the picture of Stygauns the ^;r/i^bishop lyving at the comyg of 

W" the Conqueror. And is lykely to be soo, because I have seen the 

lyke cutt in oke of some noblemen that lyved at the Conquest tyme, as 

for example one Lord Lovetoft, Lord of Worsop, who standeth in a 

church there to be seene yett, and lyeth crosslegged in a wonderful old 

arque, leaning on his swoord and a great target on his armes, whereon 

was the Lovetofts armes : all cutt out of oke and was so hard that I 

could scarselye enter a dagger poynt in to yt. 

Rich. Scarlett. 

The writer has scored out all the preceding notes, and he 
has added this correction : " Stygan doth not lie in the sayde 
churche, as it is reportyd." (fol. 18.) 

1 Ei:asec1. 

ijj. The Tombs of the Aj'chbishops 

The previous entry Scarlett had made respecting this tomb 
runs thus : " John Ufford, brother to the Earle of Suffolke, dyed 
of the plague the vij^'^ of June An^ 1348 and is buried in 
St. Thomas Chappell whereat hee hath a statlie tombe cutt in 
wood'^ ston and all piraments gilt a pon him a marble ston 
whearon is no armes nor wrytinge." (fol. 13.) 

St. Thomas's Chapel,^ the term also used by Scarlett for the 
place of burial of Archbishops Stafford, Deane, and Warham, is 
the Martyrdom; and the monk of 1532 contents himself with 
assigning the Martyrdom as Ufford's burial-place. Parker's 
phrase in the early unpublished edition of 1572 is translated 
by Godwin thus : "His body without any pompe or wonted 
solemnity was carried to Canterbury, and there secretly buried 
by the north wall, beside the wall of Thomas Becket." To this 
Godwin added in his first black letter editions of his " Catalogue 
of Bishops," published in 1601 and 161 5, "at that place (if 
I mistake not) where we see an olde woodden tombe neere to the 
tombe of Bishop Warham." 

Hasted's conjecture respecting the wooden effigy is curious. 
" It seems singular," he says, " that the figure should have been 
left so entirely plain when all the rest of the tomb is profusely 
decorated with painting and gilding. It has been conjectured 
by some that this was a conventional figure used to place on the 
tomb immediately after the interment of an Archbishop, until 
such time as his monument was ready." 

Hasted says that Ufford "does not seem to have had any 
monument erected for him, though that remaining there now 
beside Warham's tomb, and allowed by most to be that of 
Archbishop Peckham, has been by some conjectured to have 
been erected for Archbishop Ufford, whose gravestone is still to 
be seen in the pavement in the Martyrdom, though it has been 
for a long time robbed of its brasses." 

In assigning Beckham's tomb to Ufford, the tradition of the 
Cathedral in the sixteenth century has again gone wrong, 
Scarlett and Godwin have been misled by it at the same time. 
In Scarlett's list of tombs there is no mention of Archbishop 

Godwin has nothing more to say of Peckham than that " he 
was buried in his owne church, but in what particular place 
I finde not." A manuscript note in the British Museum copy 

2 This is interesting, as Willis says (p. 62) that the Trinity chapel "is always 
called the Chapel of St. Thomas." 

171 Canterbury CathedraL 25 

of Godwin's second edition shows how Somner set this matter 
right : 

Archbishop Parker, as well as Bishop Godwin, found not the parti- 
cular place where Archbishop Peckham was buried. But by a record 
(sayth Mr. Somner, in his Antiq. of Cant. p. 286) in the church of the 
time of his death and place of the buriall of this Archbishop, it appears 
he was laid /// parte aquihviari, juxta locum Martyrii beati Thoma 
Marty ris} Mr. Somner fears the author of the tables hath done him 
some wrong in hanging Archbishop Ufford's table upon that w^'' (as he 
takes it) was rather Peckham's tombe than his, that namely in the corner 
of the Martyrdom next unto Warham, w"^'* the table writer upon Bishop 
Godwin's conjecture takes for granted to be Ufford's tombe. But (as 
Mr. Somner conceives) the cost bestowed on that monument (however 
the archiepiscopall effigies w*^'' it hath is framed of wood) being built 
somewhat pyramis-like, and richly overlayd with gold, w*^'' is not yet 
worne off, gainsays it to be Ufford's. For 'tis said that he dying before 
he was fully Archbishop, having never received either his pall or his 
consecration, and that in the time of the great plague, w*^"^ (as Walsing- 
ham reports) consumed 9 parts of the men throughout England, his 
body without any pomp or wonted solemnity was carried to Canterbury, 
and there secretly buried by the north wall, beside the wall of Thomas 

The monk of 1532 gives this little contribution to the over- 
throw of the sixteenth century tradition, inasmuch as, according 
to him, both Peckham and Ufford were buried at the Martyr- 
dom, but of Peckham alone he says that his place of burial is 
" in the wall." 


There is nothing new to be said about Robert Winchelsey's 
tomb, but there is a full account of his funeral in the French 
chronicle of Canterbury, called Polistorie, which has probably 
never appeared in an English dress. It was written in 13 13, 
the very year of his death, and the chronicle ends with the 
election first of Master Thomas de Cobham, and next of " Syre 
Water Renaud," that is to say, Walter Reynolds, Bishop of 
Worcester and his enthronement by Prior Henry of Eastry, in 
the presence of eight of the Bishops of the province. The 
funeral of Robert Winchelsey is therefore described while its 
memory was still fresh, and this may account for the detail 
with which it is told : 

^ Willis gives the reference, Regist. Ecc. Cant, Aug. Sac. i. 117. 

26 The Tombs of the Archbishops 

In the year of grace 13 13, the 11"' of May, on a Friday, at Otford 
died Robert de Wynchelesee, Archbishop of Canterbury, when he had 
held the see 18 years, 34 weeks, and 6 days. His body was carried to 
Canterbury, and on the 21^"^ of May, on the way to his mother church, it 
rested in the church of the Hospital of St. James without the city. The 
Convent of Jesus Christ our Saviour came thither in procession. Thirteen 
monks only vested in albs in that church, the rest made the lines, and 
carried the body to the gate of the cemetery of their mother church, 
the convent going before in frocks according to their usage. At the 
gate abovesaid the procession of the convent was met by the Bishops of 
Winchester, of Bath, Ely, and Llandafif, and the prayer was said by the 
Bishop of Llandaff, John de Monemue,^ who was the first Bishop of them 
all. The thirteen monks vested as aforesaid took copes which the 
sacristan brought them, and they carried the body honourably across 
the choir up to the Prior's chapel. 

On Tuesday at the hour of noon, when the convent was sleeping at 
mid-day, the body was carried before terce from the chapel to the choir 
by six monks, Prior Henry being present, and was honourably placed 
on the pavement before the high altar. That same day without loss of 
time after Vespers all the convent was vested in albs and the Bishops 
were vested to sing the dirge : the first lesson of which, with the chanter's 
garnish, was read by the Prior of Leedes, the second by the Abbot ot 
Langdon, the third by the Abbot of St, Radegund, the fourth by the 
Abbot of Liesnes, the fifth by the Abbot of Battle, the sixth by the 
Abbot of Feversham,- the seventh by the Bishop of Ely, the eighth by 
the Bishop of Winchester, and the ninth by the Bishop of Llandaff. All 
the responses the monks chanted two and two, except the third which 
was sung by four, the sixth which was sung by five, and the ninth which 
the precentor sung with five monks. And all six monks, vested in copes, 
then chanted three verses, to wit, Timor inagnus, Dies illa^ and Nunc 

The day after, the Wednesday, John de Monumue, Bishop of 
Llandaff, solemnly celebrated Mass for the dead, and after the Gospel 
made a sermon to the people, and his theme was, Nii?n ignoratis quod 
priuceps magnus hodie cecidit in Israel, Abner nomine ? " Know you not 
that this day a great prince hath fallen in Israel, Abner by name ? " 
When the Mass was said, these same Bishops performed the exequies 
with due devotion, and the body was buried in the same church on the 
south side before the altar of St. Gregory the Pope.^ 

* John of Monmouth was named Bishop of Llandaff in March 1295, and conse- 
crated in February 1296. The other three Bishops, Winchester, Bath and Wells, 
and Ely, are mentioned in the order of their seniority. It is noteworthy that no 
precedence was given to Winchester. 

^ Two were houses of Black Canons, Leedes Priory and Lesnes Abbey or 
Westwood in Erith, and two of \Miite Canons or Premonstratensians, West Langdon 
Abbey and St. Radegund or Bradsole near Dover. The other two were Benedictine 
Abbeys. All these monasteries were in Kent, except Battle Abbey. 

3 H^rl. MS. 636, fol. 233 b. 

in Canterbury Cathedral. 27 

The monk of 1532 has nothing furthpr'tf?. saj^.q'f WiiVcholsey's 
burial-place than this, except that it was ''in the, wall," *God\yin 
says, "His tombe, which was sita9tQ'.*\l3Q?iidfc \thc.', aitar; • of 
St. Gregory neare the south wal, was afterwards pulled down." 
Parker adds the reason, that the people held him after death as 
a saint and came in numbers to worship him. Leland was at 
Canterbur}' before its destruction and saj's that he was buried 
" in a right godly tumbe of marble, at the ver)' but ende yn the 
waulle side." When Scarlett came in 1 599 it was all gone, and 
he makes no mention of it whatever. It seems remarkable that 
Henry's commissioners should have destroyed Winchelsey's 
monument, for the offerings at it had long ceased,^ but the 
veneration of the people, we must suppose, still in some sort 


Scarlett's entry respecting this Cardinal Archbishop is : 
" John Moorton built for himselfe a chappell and a verye fayer 
tombe in the undercrofte, and died An° 1500. Of freeston, him 
selfe lyeing thereon, garnished with the fawcon standing a pon a 
ton, the Cardnall hatt and MM his armes standing hard by him 
in the roof" (fol, 13a.) 

The rebus requires a moor-fowl rather than a falcon on a 
ton. The tomb was no doubt " very fair," that is, beautiful, 
when Scarlett saw it in 1 599. It has gone through centuries of 
ill-usage since then. Scarlett looked only to the monument, 
and naturally thought that as in other cases, so also here, the 
monument indicated the burial-place of the Archbishop. He 
was buried not far off, no doubt, but it would seem to be a 
mistake to think that Cardinal Morton is buried immediately 
under his effigy. The monk of 1532 says that he is "buried 
before the altar of Blessed Mary in the crypt." This is explained 
to us by Godwin, who in his two black letter editions tells us 
that " Moorton built while he lived a sumptuous chappell in the 
undercrofte or vault which is under the quier. He lieth buried 
in the said chappell under a marble stone. Howbeit a goodly 
toombe is erected in memory of him upon the south side of the 
chappell." This is unmistakeable, and Cardinal Morton therefore 
lies in the crypt, to the north of his monument, and somewhat 

^ The last offering at the tomb of Archbishop Winchelsey recorded by the 
monastic treasurers was \']d. in the year 1375, sixty-two years after his death, and 
there had been no offering for several years before. Dr. Sheppard's Introduction to 
\he Litera: Cantuarienses, vol. i. p. liii. 

28 The Tombs of the Archbishops 

\vest\Nlrarct of th& ;a:nci<^nJ; altar of Our Lady of Undercroft. In 
his will he desired to be- buried in front of our Lady's altar, 
with'Dvrt' nT" necessary "ptTPp or expense. His executors, when 
they had done this, went beyond their instructions, and erected 
the handsome memorial to him that we see. It may be added 
that in the sacristy of Stonyhurst College there is a skull which 
is believed to be his. It probably was brought from Liege at 
the transfer of the College early in this century, but there is no 
record of any kind to say when it was given to the College. 


Scarlett, with the spelling on the tomb before his eyes, 
having first written " Henrie Deane," erased the surname, and 
substituted " Dene," giving as his arms " argent on a chevron 
between three Cornish choughs proper, as many croziers or." 
He transcribes a good part of his inscription. " Sometyme 
Prior Prioratus de Langtona} deinde Bangorejisis ac successive 
Sar. Epi, post re 7 no vero Jiuius a/tiss"''- Eccli^- Metropol^- Arc hi. 
qui die siifi, 8ic. He dyed xvth day of ffebruary An°. 1502 
[O. S]. Hee lieth on the ground in St. Thomas Chappell on 
a marble ston in brasse." The monk's list only says that he 
was " buried at the Martyrdom of St. Thomas the Martyr." 
Godwin's account of his funeral is picturesque. " Deane died 
at Lamhith. His body was conveighed to Feversam by water, 
conducted with 33 watermen all apparrelled in blacke (a great 
number of tapers burning day and night in the boate) and from 
thence carried [by the same watermen on a bier Parser] to 
Canterbury, where it was buried in the middle of the place 
called the Martyrdom [as he had ordered in his will, Parker] 
under a fair marble stone inlaid with brasse." Parker adds that 
he set aside ^500 for the expenses of his funeral, and that his 
chaplains Wolsey and Gardiner were his executors : two 
historical names, better known than his own. 


" William Warham lyeth in St. Thomas Chappell on a statly 
monument raysed vj yeards from the ground with these armes 
on it, at the foote of Uffords tombe. Six coats, (i) gon." The 
others are tricked by Scarlett thus : (2) London impaling 
gules, a fcss between a goat's head erased, in chief, and in base 

^ It should be Lauthona or Lanthonia se(unda near Gloucester. 

in Canterbury Cathedral. 29 

3 escallops argent (Warham) (3) Canterbury impaling Warham. 
(4) Christchurch Priory. (5) argent, 2 chevronels azure between 
3 Lancaster roses. (6) St. Thomas of Canterbury. 

The monk whom we have called of 1532, because he must 
have had his list still in his hands when Archbishop Warham 
died in that year, says of him that he was "buried at the 
Martyrdom of St. Thomas under the window in the chapel 
which he had founded." Godwin and Parker say the same- 
" Warham was buried without any great funeral pomp, giving 
mourning clothes only to the poore, and laid in a little chappell 
built by himself for the place of his buriall upon the north side 
of the Martyrdome, and there hath a reasonable faire tombe." 
The chapel, however, was never built. Preparations were made 
for it, as may be seen in the narrow space between the transept 
and the Chapter House that was called " the Slype." The 
wall under the transept window was broken through, but an 
ominous crack overhead very properly frightened the architect, 
and the wall was hurriedly bricked up again. The lofty tomb 
that we now see was inserted in the transept wall, and it is 
curious that so many writers should call it "a chapel." Outside 
the church on the east side there is a little of the panelling with 
which the chapel was to have been lined. 


Reginald Poole descendid from the house of Clarence, and lieth in 
the upper part of the cathedrall church on the north side of the east 
wyndovve, who dyed the laste yeare of Queene Maryes raygne. Hee was 
both Cardinall and Archbishop (Scarlett, fol. 14). 

On Cardynall Pools monument who dyed the last year of Queen 
Marye, these coats : 

1. Clarence. Montague 6. 

2. Poole. Monthermer 7. 

3. Nevill E. of Sar. Woodstock ) g 

4. Beauchamp. Wake J ' 

5. Warwycke. Clare 10. 

Spenser 11. (fol. 12) 

It Is not easy to see in the sketch given by Dart of the 
decorations of Cardinal Pole's tomb that remained in his time, 
where the coat of arms seen by Scarlett can have been. We 
cannot refer to the monk of Canterbury that has helped us 
hitherto, but another hand has added to his list, after " Thomas 

36 The Tombs of t/ie Archbishops 

Cranmer truculenter combustus Martii 23, 1556," "Reginald 
Pole buried in the Church of Canterbury, in the Crown which 
is called Thomas Becket's." Godwin tells us that his body in a 
leaden coffin was taken to Canterbury and buried in the chapel 
of St. Thomas [on the north side of a litle chappell that is at 
the east end of Thomas Becket's chappell — Godivin in the black 
letter editions] with this brief notice for an epitaph, Deposituut 
Cardinalis PoliP Parker adds that his funeral was celebrated 
for three days, and sermons were preached in his praise in Latin 
and in English. 

It is a mistake on Scarlett's part to say that Cardinal Pole 
died in the last year of Mary's reign. He survived her a few 
hours, and the funeral panegyrics at Canterbury, as well as the 
decorations on the wall above his tomb, were both of them done 
to his honour in the first days of Elizabeth. Wriothesley says : 
"Thursday xvii November 1558 about sixe in the morning. 
Queen Marie died at her manor of St. James by Charing Cross. 
. . . Friday, the xviii November Dr. Reynalde Poole Cardinal 
and Archbishop of Canterburie died at Lambeth in the morning, 
and was ciftervvards buried at Canterburie in Christs Church." 
Machyn says the same, except that he puts the Cardinal's death 
on "the xix in the morning, between v and vi oclock." He 
adds that on " the x day December was brought down from her 
chamber Queen Mare," and then, after describing her funeral, 
he continues, " the same morning my lorde Cardenall was moved 
from Lambeth and cared [carried] towards Canterburie with 
grete companie in blake . . . and he was cared in a charett 
with [banner] rolles wrought in figne gold and grett banners of 
armes, and iiij banners of saints in owlls [oils]." 

The tomb now looks miserably poor, and it certainly is to be 
wished that Cardinal Pole might have a worthy monumeut. In 
that case it will not be like the painted plaster work with which 
it was at first adorned, which was in wretched taste. Why 
St. Christopher should have been selected as an appropriate 
saint, to be painted over the Cardinal's burial-place, is by no 
means clear. The style of the drawing, more especially of the 
little cherubs, is very Italian, judging by the sketch given 
by Dart. 

in Canterbury Cathedral. 31 


The rest of the burial-places of Archbishops named in our 
good monk's list agree with the received descriptions, but one 
tomb remains unappropriated, that beside Walter Reynolds' 
on the south of the choir, hitherto called Hubert Walter's. 
As a working hypothesis, Adam Chillenden may be suggested 
for it, who, after being Prior seven years, was elected to the 
archbishopric, and died before consecration in the year 1274. 
He was practically Henry of Eastry's predecessor, as Thomas 
Ringmere, who came between them, left to be a Cistercian 
and died in a hermitage. The tomb is of Eastry's time, and 
the mitred effigy, that once had a red chasuble with gold lions 
passanty as it has no crozier, would very well suit a Prior 
who dates before the concession by Urban the Sixth in 1380 
of the use of the crozier to the Lords Priors of Christ Church, 
Canterbury. Henry of Eastry was himself buried between the 
images or pictures of St. Osyth and St. Apollonia. This, it 
is to be feared, is ignotum per ignotius, but some day the 
whereabouts of these images may be known, and that may 
help to determine whether this tomb is Prior Henry of 
Eastry's. Meanwhile, we may in imagination well replace an 
image of our Lady on the second pier of the nave on the south 
side, as Archbishop William Wittlesey was buried between the 
second and third pier, not counting the tower piers, and the 
Corpus manuscript says that he was " in the nave, before the 
image of Blessed Mary." And in like manner we can in our 
fancy restore an image of our Divine Saviour to the south- 
eastern transept near the place where, as we have seen, 
Archbishop Robert Winchelsey was buried. Somner, to iden- 
tify the place of his tomb, made uge of an extract from one 
of the church records, which speaks of a gift made for "the 
light of the throne opposite to the image of our Saviour 
opposite to the altars of St. John the Evangelist and St. 
Gregory." From this passage it is that we learn the existence 
of the image of our Saviour, but the repetition of the word 
cotitra^ " over against " or " opposite to," makes it difficult to say 
on which side of the transept it stood ; neither is it clear what 
the " throne " was that is described as opposite to it, or what 
the " light " was burned to honour. 





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